Who was the guy who took a lead role in blocking the bailout plan for the Detroit automakers? Bob Corker, Republican senator from Tennessee, a state that hosts both Toyota and Nissan US headquarters--and one that makes sure that it is very hard for any workers to be unionized--and the autoworkers at the Japanes and German plants, unsurprisingly, are not.
Read more about the motivations of the anti-union Senate GOPers in Salon, Meet the GOP's Wrecking Crew, Dec. 13, 2008.
The fiercest opposition to the loan proposal -- and nearly a third of the 35 votes against ending debate on the deal -- came from Southern Republicans, and the ringleaders of the opposition all come from states with a major foreign auto presence. Not coincidentally, nearly all of those states -- except Kentucky -- are also "right-to-work" states, which means no union contracts for most of the employees at the foreign plants. The Detroit bailout fell victim to a nasty confluence of home-state economic interests and anti-union sentiment among Republicans.